PW #214: YA Contemporary: THE STAGGERING FORCE OF WANT

 Pitchwars Badge (Square YA)

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Kate Brauning
Mentee Name: Ashley D. MacKenzie
Title: THE STAGGERING FORCE OF WANT
Category: YA
Genre: Contemporary

Word Count: 82,000

 Pitch:

The senior trip to Europe isn’t helping Hayley find her passion or fix her friendship with Lexi, so Hayley risks expulsion and ditches the tour for a magnetic boy from Amsterdam who wants her to pick a way of life instead of a career.

Excerpt:

It’s not that I have anything against smoking pot. I just don’t think you have to go to Amsterdam to do it.

But here I am, standing in an under-ventilated coffee shop that smells like my ex-boyfriend’s truck, watching Lexi consult a menu of weed like there might be an actual wrong decision when it comes to ordering a pre-rolled joint in an Amsterdam pot shop.

Lexi snaps the menu onto the counter. “What kind should I get, Hayley? You know more about this stuff than I do.”

Right. Sure I do.

“The only way I know anything at all about weed is because of Tyler,” I say. “And, really, my crap taste in guys doesn’t make me some kind of expert in buying drugs.”

Lexi sighs and slips her thumbnail between her teeth, leaning over the menu. I plunk my purse onto the counter and slide my phone from its pocket. “We have three hours until she needs to seem completely sober,” I tell the dreadlocked girl behind the counter, and the clerk nods like I’ve just said something exceptionally wise.

Dreadlocks opens a display case of pre-rolled joints and Lexi slips a card from her wallet. I’m so over seeing that card. London, Paris, Amsterdam, all perfectly preserved on Mr. Kim’s Visa bill. She taps the card on the counter while she waits.

“Aren’t you worried that your dad’s going to see a charge from this place?” I ask. Tap. Tap. Tap. That card hammers tiny nails into the back of my neck.

 

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